Home Staging During the Holidays

Home Stager with StageRight Home Staging & Redesign

Holiday StagingNo one relishes the idea of having their house on the market over the holidays, but sometimes it just has to be.  A question I'm often asked, as a professional home stager, is whether sellers should decorate their homes for Christmas.  This can be tricky. Staging is all about de-personalizing and de-cluttering, and often Christmas decorations are both very personal and, if over-done, can definitely be considered clutter.  On the other hand, if done well, Christmas decorations can do a lot to make a house look warm and cozy and may create a sentimental appeal which will have a positive emotional effect on potential buyers.  Below are some guidelines to follow if you want to decorate for the holidays while your house is on the market.

  • If you are just listing, be sure to take all marketing photos BEFORE you decorate!
  • Keep it simple!  In this case, less really is best.  This is not the time to get carried away with miles of garland and tons of fake snow. 
  • If you don't normally decorate outside, this is not the time to start. If it is important to you, a few strings of lights on the eaves or in the shrubs and a wreath on the front door will do.  Avoid the inflatable snowmen, etc. and the elaborate displays that rival those at Disneyland. 
  • If you usually put up a Christmas tree in several rooms, limit yourself to just one. 
  • Avoid displaying large collections of Nutcrackers, Santas or Snowmen, etc. and select just a few.  Keep the Christmas Village packed away this year.
  • Christmas is, of course, a religious holiday, but while your house is on the market, it might be best to avoid displaying nativity scenes or other religious decorations.  Keep it festive with holly, candles, poinsettias. 
  • If you have small children, display Santa, reindeer, snowmen, stockings, toy soldiers, but keep it tasteful and, again, avoid using too many of anything. 

You don't want potential buyers spending too much time looking at your decorations instead of your house.  You're selling your house!  Home staging is about creating a mood or atmosphere that makes potential buyers feel comfortable and "at home" in the space.  Your holiday decorations should work toward that goal and not be a distraction.

So, go ahead and celebrate.  Just use some common sense and restraint.  Last, but not least, be sure to pack away your decorations immediately after the holidays.


Comments (3)

Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

what a fun job you have to help folks at holiday time!  yes I agree, they need to keep it "normal"

Dec 03, 2012 02:22 AM
Jennifer Spanbauer Brodoway
Lethbridge Real Estate.com - Lethbridge, AB
just call jen

Great tips. Definetely a good idea to take the photos before decorating.  If the house is still listed in March, and the photos of the living room have a tree in it, that will date it pretty quickly.

Dec 03, 2012 02:25 AM
Beth Lester
Beth Lester Designs - Torrance, CA
Home Staging & Interior Decorating

I agree with you, Suellen.  I've never found this kind of decorating to be a problem for anyone.

Dec 10, 2012 06:23 AM